We're here to talk to you for the next 40 minutes or so about something we feel quite passionate about: Community.
The plan is to try to define community, discuss how communities form, grow and are sustained. &#xA0;We're going to talk about community-building tools, types of communities, what makes communities work, and the power of community. &#xA0;We'll also have some real-life case studies of active local communities.
[twitter] Keynote presentation at SpringIT day, University of Guelph [/twitter] [twitter] Topic: Community is the Platform, Co-presenters: @seanyo and @brydon [/twitter]
We'll be mentioning some tools, referring to some books, blogs, events, etc. through the presentation. &#xA0;We've set up a site using Google Sites: http://tinyurl.com/springIT2010&#xA0;with links to these, as well as the slide deck from this presentation. &#xA0;I'll also be linking it from my blog at architect|ed.ca&#xA0;under "presentations". &#xA0;
If anyone is posting to Twitter, social sites, blogs, etc., the tag for the day is #springIT.
I'm passionate about this topic, and I think it fits in really well with ITSIG and SpringIT day, because it's really what we're all about. &#xA0;We can think of this institution is a set of communities, and ITSIG as a community of IT professionals. And how the University community intersects with the Guelph communities, as well as communities from other institutions.
[twitter] presentation materials available at http://tinyurl.com/springIT2010 [/twitter]
Kyle and I began preparing for this talk with a lot of ideas and this huge sprawling concept map. And then Kyle came back to me with a rough slide deck, and on the first slide was this fantastic phrase: Community Is The Platform. Wow. I love this idea. And I&#x2019;ve been thinking about it all the time.
And where I think our story begins is with Marshall McLuhan - if you&#x2019;re not familiar with McLuhan he was a pioneer in media studies and Canadian and gave us some very famous idea. One of them is the Global Village - the idea that electronic media shrinks the world into a village. He built on this idea of the Global Village, seeing that it would create a profound series of shifts, from consumer to producer, from acquisition to involvement ad from jobs to roles. But more on that later.
[twitter] McLuhan: Global Village - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8J6uEUXlR0 [/twitter]
So given the context of the Global Village - the shrinking of the world by the Internet - let&#x2019;s look at the other famous idea that McLuhan is responsible for : The Medium is the Message. McLuhan&#x2019;s insight here is that the tools we use to communicate not only affect what we say with those tools - but define what can be said. When you read a book - you can reread a page at will, add notes to the margins and - perhaps most importantly- you have to fill in the details of anything the author doesn&#x2019;t take the time to write about. Compare that to a movie where every detail of every scene needs to be defined and created - plus - at the theatre you can&#x2019;t pause, rewind or fast forward. There&#x2019;s a reason movie version is always significantly different than the book - you can&#x2019;t communicate the same thing in a book as you can in a movie and vice versa.
[twitter] McLuhan - Medium is the Message (Canadian Heritage Minute) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtycdRBAbXk [/twitter]
This is John Gage - he was the 5th employee at Sun Microsystems. If you&#x2019;re a Sun customer...or a Unix geek...you&#x2019;ve probably heard Gage&#x2019;s famous quote that &#x201C;The Network Is The Computer&#x201D;. Does anyone know when he coined this phrase?
In 1984. The same year the Apple Macintosh was introduced. You might remember the Apple Superbowl ad from 1984.
Looking back from 2010 - through the tubes of the internet, the idea that the network is the computer makes a lot of sense. In fact, one of the core ideas of Web 2.0 is that the web has become the platform.
[twitter] Sun Microsystems: The Network is the Computer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWNtaUaDxZw [/twitter] [twitter]Apple 1984 Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8[/twitter]
In our connected world, those of us lucky enough to be on the Internet live in a Global Village. And the Internet - the largest computer network...ever...is the computer.
So what does this have to do with Community?
With the rise of social media and tools like Facebook and Twitter there&#x2019;s a lot of talk about community. About building community. About engaging community. About leveraging community.
When we moved to the Web 2.0 - what was the big shift? You could say much better user interfaces. But that&#x2019;s not the important bit...the important bit is that with better UI - people we able to start contributing and the web shifted from publishing to participation...from authors and readers to voices in conversations
At the first Web 2.0 conference in 2004 the central idea was Web As Platform. This builds on Tim O&#x2019;Reilly&#x2019;s idea of the Internet as operating system - something we&#x2019;re more clearly seeing, especially with projects like ChromeOS and the standard practice of web services providing public APIs
What Kyle and I are proposing is to push this idea even further and to think not just of the Web as The Platform, but Community as The Platform.
In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms (or different species) sharing an environment. It's important to note that it's more than just grouping, it's about the interactions.
Traditionally, a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and generally in social units larger than a household. The word can also refer to the national community or global community. &#xA0;Community has been used to describe charity groups, friendly neighbours, technologists, businesspeople, politicians, students, welfare groups, and just about any other grouping.&#xA0;
How do we build an inspiring, engaging, and enjoyable community in our own walk of life be it personal or professional?
Alexis-Charles-Henri Cl&#xE9;rel de Tocqueville a French political thinker and historian.
Visiting the &#x201C;new country&#x201D; of the United States in the 1830&#x2019;s, determining the reasons for the success of democracy, he concluded that it was a result of social capital, the way our lives are made more productive, more complete through social ties.
Community is about connecting, about finding common values, needs, wants & finding a way to foster them. Building Social Capital.
Simon Clark has some ideas. &#xA0;Simon is a former UofGuelph student, and he was one of the driving forces behind the "Digital Frog" project from the early 90s. &#xA0;He's very active in the guelph tech community, and guelph in general. Simon spoke at IgniteWaterloo earlier this year. &#xA0;The title of his talk is "hacking the hood - simple ways to turn a neighborhood into a community". The talk is up on the Google site I mentioned at the start of this talk.
He talks about communities having focus, being incubator for conversations both face to face and online. Organizing repeatable events, creating buzz, using the power of the community to do awesome things like build a barbecue. &#xA0;He talks about "getting to know each other better", "discovering new things", "doing simple things with great impact", "changing community and changing yourself"
[twitter] Simon Clark at #ignitewaterloo &#x201C;Hacking the 'hood - Simple ways to turn a neighborhood into a community&#x201D; http://vimeo.com/8079161 [/twitter] &#xA0;
FROM ANTS TO ANTEATERS, bees to beekeepers, community is a fundamental part of our life on the planet. We thrive when we are immersed in it, suffer when deprived of it, and wherever humans go we create it. We define ourselves by our communities: tribe, family, work, clubs, schools, churches and temples, these are who we are.
&#x2014;Leo Laporte Broadcaster and Founder of the TWiT Network Petaluma, California June 30, 2009
[twitter] Leo Laporte, Broadcaster and Founder of the TWiT Network quote: http://tweetphoto.com/21106827 [/twitter]
I think it's essential to tap in to the potential power of these communities for learning, sharing, making connections, collaborating and working effectively.
In the worlds of IT, education, educational technology, these communities are quite strong, and they're growing and diversifying. Community is important. &#xA0;It motivates, builds, inspires.
There&#x2019;s freedom and multiple voices and inputs, but it&#x2019;s not anarchy.
Communities tend to have some kind of management, driving force, governance. governance does not suck.
community should decide what that governance looks like, leaders should understand and make decisions that are representative of the community & it's culture. &#xA0;
clear objectives, inspiration and motivation, fostering culture.
This management piece could take on different forms. Ubuntu has a code of conduct. [twitter] Ubuntu Code of Conduct http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct [/twitter]
Some communities have strategic plan: mission, teams, success criteria, feedback mechanisms.I&#x2019;d propose that some of the keys to success that the management (however that looks) can put in place are trust, sustainability, diversity, transparency, and an openness to change. [twitter] &#x201D;Committee of Gulls&#x201D; http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenliveshere/384434991/ [/twitter]
Many voices and opinions about community, the power is that there are divergent ideas, and lots of maybes.
A great, new book on Community - The Art of Community by Jono Bacon [twitter] The Art of Community by Jono Bacon - http://artofcommunityonline.org [/twitter]
The Cluetrain Manifesto is a book which was a call to arms, written in 2000, born of the frustration of dealing with the business as usual attitude of corporations and organizations in the new reality of a networked world. In the spirit of Martin Luther, the book has 95 Theses.
The first is: Markets are conversations. The last is : We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.
We&#x2019;ll talk some more about The Cluetrain Manifesto in a little while...
Clay Shirky&#x2019;s book Here Comes Everybody explores a critical idea for anyone interested what&#x2019;s happening on the Web these days:
&#x201C;Revolution doesn&#x2019;t happen when society adopts new technology, it happens when society adopts new behaviours&#x201D;
Clay Shirky is asking us to look not at tech, but at people.
This book is about communities and, in particular, how the Internet has become a powerful tool for communities to self-organize, which is to say for people to connect with each other
[twitter] Here Comes Everybody - A book about organizing without organizations. http://www.shirky.com/herecomeseverybody/ [/twitter]
Charlene Li and Josh Bernhoff are VPs and Principal Analyts at Forrester Research. They work on things like Social Computing and Web 2.0
We&#x2019;ve been talking about how the Internet is changing our society - Li and Bernhoff think of this change as The Groundswell:
&#x201C;A spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience, and get what they need - information, support, ideas, products and bargaining power - from each other...It&#x2019;s global, it&#x2019;s unstoppable, it affects every industry...And it&#x2019;s utterly foreign to the powerful companies and institutions that run things now.&#x201D;
This book explores their idea of groundswell through 25 real world case studies at powerful companies and institutions like Sony, Procter & Gamble, Best Buy and Dell.
These are some of the places we get our ideas from and have helped us develop our understanding of community as a concept. Now Kyle is going to talk about a few different kinds of communities
[twitter] power of community and social media: Groundswell - http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell [/twitter]
...and this is not an exhaustive list...
Communities of practice Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991)
Describe Communities of Practice as a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession.&#xA0;
The group can evolve naturally because of the members' common interest in a particular domain or area, or it can be created specifically with the goal of gaining knowledge related to their field.
It is through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group that the members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.
&#xA0;A community built a culture around doing things. &#xA0;Dedicating time to making things, solving problems, building things. &#xA0;
"Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success." - Henry Ford
We can think of a community of learning as be both a community of practice and a community of collaboration
A group of people who share common values and beliefs, are actively engaged in learning together and from each other. &#xA0;We see a lot of that here.
Learning communities can link different disciplines around a common theme or question. They can give greater coherence to the curriculum and provide students and faculty with a vital sense of shared inquiry.
The idea that the solution to the problems we confront require multiple points of view, variety of competencies, acknowledging of interdependence and mutual respect
To plug TSS, we have a number of learning circles and workshops for faculty and grad students on assessment, educational technology, evaluation, critical reflection, scholarship of teaching, etc.&#xA0;These are ways to foster Faculty Learning Communities.
FLC provides a place where faculty can discuss the complex issues related to learning, a place to consider variables that impact the learning process. And, a place for faculty to think about their own roles in the learning process.
&#x201C;The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by trial and error, to be sure -- but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks.&#x201D; &#x2014; P.J. Palmer, author, educator, and activist
So I promised you more on The Clue Train Manifesto - and here it is.
This is directly from the Manifesto itself.
Keep in mind this was written TEN years ago. What the ClueTrain is talking about is a Copernican shift - so you don&#x2019;t have google &#x201C;Copernicus&#x201D;, he is the Polish scientist who published a book in 1543 which suggested that The Earth isn&#x2019;t at the centre of the universe with everything else orbiting us...but rather the centre of the universe was the sun and the orbited it. Copernicus pretty much kicked of the scientific revolution with this idea.
What the ClueTrain is talking about isn&#x2019;t quite so dramatic - but it is similiar. Instead of corporations and business and institutions being at the centre with their markets orbiting them - the opposite is ture. Its the markets which are at the centre - that us - and all those corporations, businesses and institutions orbit around us.
I also think of conversations orbiting a community - conversations are key to communities. Without a conversation, there&#x2019;s no community
Here are some more of the ClueTrain Manifesto
Markets are conversations. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived. Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can't be "picked up" at some tony conference. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities. But first, they must belong to a community. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end. If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.
Community building is about providing communications facilities, and encouraging and enabling those people to communicate and collaborate.
It&#x2019;s about building conversation as a first step in learning from each other and sharing from each other and learning about each other and seeing where common interests/activities intersect
So to say that conversations are at the heart of community is to say that
Communication is really at the heart of community.
For conversations to be successful, that is to say...foster community, conversations need to be authentic and real.
One of the best ways I know of to be authentic and real is to share your story. Be real, be honest and connect - because when you speak with a real voice and share real stories...of success and failure, of strengths and weaknesses, of hopes and fears...you will connect with others because you will be speaking about their real experiences too. You&#x2019;ll be showing that you have shared experience. You&#x2019;ll be opening the door for others to identify with you and for you to identify with others. And from this shared experience and shared identity comes community.
shift from sharing ideas to sharing work
The power of crowdsourcing is fundametal to communities, the idea that [twitter] No one is as smart as everyone [/twitter]
Communities can be a way to mindshare, build collective intelligence, build a knowledgebase and a support system to leverage the power of the crowd into collective and collaborative action.
The word "community" comes from the Old French communit&#xE9; which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, "with/together" + munus, "gift") In Free Culture communities, such as Linux, Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, Creative Commons, etc. members have the opportunity to change the very content that brings them together. The success of Linux = open communication, fair licensing of work in such a way that it benefits the entire community, open tools (anyone can contribute)
Tara Hunt spoke recently at Demo Camp Guelph. On twitter, you can find her at @missrogue She&#x2019;s written a book called the Wuffie Factor Community Values - power of stories, importance of agility, passion and authenticity, social capital of generocity and reprocity - the more you give, the more you receive social economy in the digital world: deposits: helping someone solve a problem, attending community events, showing interest, using y our network for the good of the economy, demonstrating you implement people&#x2019;s suggestions, RT&#x2019;ing someone
withdrawls: asking someone else for a favor, promoting your own events, asking for an introduction to someone, name dropping
[twitter] Tara Hunt, The Wuffie Factor - http://www.thewhuffiefactor.com/ [/twitter]
[twitter] D2L user community (independently organized) http://D2Lunconference.com [/twitter]
This project is something I&#x2019;ve been dreaming about for a very long time It&#x2019;s aim is to help bring together and foster the campus web community
Who is the CWC? Anyone who develops, designs or write for campus websites.
Who here develops, designs or writes for a campus website?
What is the CWC - it&#x2019;s not this website. It&#x2019;s a group of people who have a shared property/identity - a campus website This website is a place for these people to connect
My team is writing articles about our work - following the lead of companies like Sun, IBM and Microsoft I hope other community members will write articles as well
We have documentation - which aim to be as transparent as possible. Our position isn&#x2019;t &#x201C;Why should we share this&#x201D; but rather &#x201C;Why shouldn&#x2019;t be share this&#x201D;
A discussion forum for the community to connect online and have a record of our conversations
We also hope to be sharing code - html templates, style sheets and more.
If you&#x2019;re interested in this community - come talk to me. And keep an eye our for a meetup event which will be announced soon. <grin>.
[twitter] Guelph Campus Web Community: http://www.uoguelph.ca/ccs/cwc/ [/twitter]
So today we&#x2019;ve been sharing our ideas around community, telling our stories about how we&#x2019;re starting to think of Community as the Platform.
Another way of thinking of this is of Community as the Medium. By this I mean we&#x2019;re in the middle of a Big Change - how our society operates and behaves is changing. And we can see how the web is a part of that - but what The Community is the Medium means is that the web isn&#x2019;t actually the important bit. The important bit is what you do with the web. It&#x2019;s why Web 1.0 seems so lame today and why Web 2.0 was so exciting - because when the web became as much about contributing and sharing as consuming, it was finally delivering on its promise. That promise was to help build communities - just as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW.
This means that MySpace and Facebook and Twitter and Stumble Upon and Digg and Wikipedia and Wordpress and Blogger and Four Square and whatever gets released tomorrow, and the day after that...these things aren&#x2019;t the tools that make community. Just like Copernicus switched the Earth and the Sun and just like The Cluetrain Manifesto switched markets and corporations...what we&#x2019;re talking about today switches all these tools, all these different social media platforms with community.
Tools don&#x2019;t make Communities Communities make tools.
Facebook isn&#x2019;t the Platform Twitter isn&#x2019;t the Platform
Community is the Platform
As soon as enough people decide Facebook is too careless with their information - and they leave...Facebook will be the new Friendster. And it won&#x2019;t be some new tool that&#x2019;s created new communities - it will be communities which choose a new tool.
KYLE community is changing things If there was nothing to change - there would be no community What communities are you a part of ? What communities can you help build?
Community is a way to change yourself, and to change the world. It&#x2019;s about participation, involvement, sharing. Creating a platform where information flows freely, an environment of trust institutions need to provide an environment that supports community development and cooperation, realizing human costs, system requirements, implementation costs, training and support participants need to believe in it in order to be successful. &#xA0;Belief = Opportunity
+ “From ants to anteaters,
bees to beekeepers, community is a fundamental part of our life on the planet. We thrive when we are immersed in it, suffer when deprived of it, and wherever humans go we create it. We deﬁne ourselves by our communities: tribe, family, work, clubs, schools, churches and temples, these are who we are.” — Leo Laporte, Broadcaster and Founder of the TWiT Network, Petaluma, California June 30, 2009
+ “The growth of any
craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by trial and error, to be sure -- but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks.” — P.J. Palmer, author, educator, and activist
+ We are not seats,
or eyeballs, or end users or consumers. We are human beings. And our reach exceeds your grasp...
+ ...Networked markets are beginning
to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.